Originally Posted by starchild excalibur
I work at a college and many of our Chinese students will adopt American names. I don't mind since it's ultimately their call, but I always hope that they aren't doing it to accommodate the teachers/administration.
I'm Nigerian and I could imagine the verbal beatdown I'd get if I'd ever approached my dad about adopting a western name at school.
Speaking as an immigrant, one other reason we change names is just that it gets really, really, really, really old when literally everybody you meet can't pronounce your name. So it's often tempting to just go to the "Westernized" version of your name. Especially if you can pass for white, because by then you're basically invisible once you got the accent down.
And like, this is just personal preference/experience so I can't pretend it applies to everyone but...well, people do
treat minorities differently, even if they are very liberal. That's not to say that people will necessarily treat you badly
if they can tell you were born somewhere else, but there is a noticeable difference that I personally don't super appreciate. The way people treat me seriously changed from back when I had a thick accent to my mostly non-noticeable one. So I can understand the whole wanting to change names thing. So yeah there is probably a desire to "camouflage" if possible and blend in. I know I do that, but maybe I'm more paranoid than most.